Dr. Dio Antille (CSIRO, blue shirt) and Dr. Hirdesh Sachan (Fiji National University, green shirt) discuss a dalo harvest with an employee of the Fijian Ministry of Agriculture at the Koronivia Research Station in Fiji. Credit: Tom Vierus.


The project seeks to contribute to improved soil and food security for climate-vulnerable communities in the Indo-Pacific by increasing the use of conservation agriculture in order to achieve sustainable intensification and farming practice change.

Research approach

CSIRO will work with local partners in Fiji and Samoa to develop conservation agriculture adoption pathways. They will then test findings in in the field, to produce a practical conservation agriculture model, which can be adapted for use in other countries.

First phase

In the first phase of the project, the Australia-based project team will work with local partners in Fiji and Samoa to assess the feasibility of conservation agriculture. They will then design a pathway for future adoption for use in commercial- /semi-commercial scale farming. The team will assess the technical, socio-economic, and agronomic feasibility of implementing conservation agriculture in local farming systems. The team will take into account the ability to deliver improved productivity, cropping reliability and resource-use efficiency under (likely) less favourable climatic conditions.  

Findings will inform the design of a pathway for future adoption of conservation agriculture in key agricultural systems (e.g., yams, taro, cassava, sweet potatoes, pineapple, sugarcane). The adoption pathway will include methods, tools and expertise required to help farmers adopt conservation agriculture systems, as well as practical training. Farmer surveys will be conducted to gain an understanding of ‘willingness to change’ current practices and the factors that could facilitate adoption, which will also consider gender aspects influencing practice change and adoption decisions.

A photo of Koronivia Research Station team members in Fiji with the Mobile Soil Testing Laboratory. Credit: Tom Vierus.

Second phase

In the second phase of the project, the project team will work with local partners to refine and test the practical application of the adoption model using a demonstration site at a commercial farm in one of the two proposed countries.

In this phase of the project (Year 2), the CSIRO research team would work closely with in country research partners and extension officers, farmers groups, local farm advisers, government agencies and machinery dealers/manufacturers to promote adoption of conservation agriculture and the benefits it can deliver. This phase would include a practical capacity building program to ensure independent in-country capability able to sustain adoption and implementation of the model in the long-term.


This project has been supported by funding from the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The project is a part of SciTech4Climate: Harnessing science and technology to support climate resilience in the Indo-Pacific.

Disclaimer: The material reported in this project may include the views or recommendations of third parties and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Government or indicate a commitment to a particular course of action.